Sunderland Voted Best City For Business!
SUNDERLAND’S success as a key location for business and investment has again been recognized in an independent report.
The Local Futures research report has ranked the city as the best place in the country to do business in. The report: Global change, local strategies – An inward investment guide to England, is highlighted in the Municipal Journal.
It ranks Sunderland as ‘the best city in England in the environment and infrastructure category‘. This category covers: commercial floorspace; connectivity; cost base; quality of life; and growth in commercial and industrial floorspace.
The Futures report follows January 2013’s Centre for Cities Outlook report recognising Sunderland’s robust and resilient economy and how it was recovering from recession faster than others.
The city is the largest manufacturing hub in the Tyne and Wear region and is a sound operating base for companies with its ‘can do’ attitude. In the last two years, more than 40 private-sector investment projects have created more than 4,000 jobs and landed the first investment opportunities from the Coalition Government’s new Enterprise Zones.
Sunderland’s bid for a City Deal from the Government was also confirmed this week.
Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, says: “This business and investment success has been achieved because we have set down long-term goals through our Economic Master plan and we are seeing the results coming through.
“Despite tough times, new jobs are being created, and there are strong levels of public and private sector investment. What Sunderland is good at is getting both the infrastructure and the business environment right.”
In addition to Nissan, the UK’s largest car plant, major employers in the city include Barclays, Lloyds TSBBank, EDF and Nike.
Councillor Watson added: “The City Council has always forged strong links with the private sector – from property developers to manufacturers – and these links have made the city’s economy far more diversified, far more robust and far more resilient.
“As a city by the sea, and part of the wider North East region, we can offer a very attractive quality of life outside of work too.”
Key factors in the city’s business success include:
- High quality, low-cost business premises, including offices and industrial units ready for immediate occupation;
- Strategically located sites with super-fast, ultra-resilient ICT connectivity;
- Practical help from the City Council, alongside other supportive public institutions;
- Incentives package, relationship building and aftercare covering. Incentives for SMEs help balance a local economy that could be dominated by large employers;
- A workforce renowned for its skills, loyalty and adaptability. Low staff turnover (typically less than 10 per cent per annum) helps attract, retain and grow companies;
- Meeting skills needs amply demonstrated by the rapid expansion of the automotive manufacturing sector – a sector that was new to the area just 25 years ago – and now employs more than 10,000 people;
- Businesses locating here benefit from access to university facilities and a pool of highly qualified graduates, and practical help is available to identify suitable staff.